June 14, 2024
How debt undermines our public services
As the most indebted sub-sovereign government not just in Canada but in the world — $353.7 billion by the end of this year, largely due to the 15-year reign of error of the previous Liberal government — Ontario now spends almost $13 billion annually paying the interest on its debt.
As the most indebted sub-sovereign government not just in Canada but in the world — $353.7 billion by the end of this year, largely due to the 15-year reign of error of the previous Liberal government — Ontario now spends almost $13 billion annually paying the interest on its debt.

The opposition parties at Queen’s Park would like us to believe that annual government deficits adding to an already burdensome provincial debt are the best way to preserve public services in Ontario.

Finance Minister Rod Phillips’s fall economic statement Wednesday provided a clear explanation of why that thinking is fundamentally flawed, and that what actually endangers public services isn’t pursuing balanced budgets, but irresponsibly adding more debt.

In fact, Ontario’s growing debt burden is directly responsible for hallway medicine, failing public transit and massive repair backlogs in everything from social housing to public schools.

This year, the Ontario government plans to raise $155.8 billion in revenue and spend $150.9 billion.

Normally that would mean the government is spending $5 billion less than it takes in, on the way to achieving a balanced budget over time.

Which would be true except for the province’s underlying debt problem.

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See Also:

(1) Ford government slows pace to match public mood

(2) Team Ford boosts spending, turns practical

(3) Ontario passes bill to cap public sector wage increases at one per cent

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